Today will be decisive for Group C at the OFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Rarotonga.
Third-placed Cook Islands will be keeping a close eye on the outcome between Fiji and Vanuatu in order to find out if they still have a chance to snatch top spot when they face Solomon Islands in the final Group A encounter of the tournament.
The hosts, who conceded a late goal to suffer a heartbreaking 1-nil defeat defeat to Fiji in their previous match, will be hoping for a narrow Vanuatu victory to remain in the running.
If Vanuatu manage to beat the Fijians, the hosts will know exactly how many goals they need to score against Solomon Islands to finish on top of the group with the best goal difference.
Despite only having an outside chance to secure a semifinal spot, Cook Islands coach Tuka Tisam hasn’t given up hope.
“There’s plenty to play for, the group is still open,” he insisted. “I believe the girls can do it the next game against the Solomons and we’re going to just keep fighting and fight till the end,” added Tisam.
Solomon Islands coach Patrick Miniti is adamant his team will be playing for pride and will pose a real challenge for the hosts. “It’s not going to be easy, the Cook Islands are a very good side, but we want to end the tournament on a high,” he said.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for the girls, because we are coming off two losses, but we will be trying to win the third one.”